I Love, Love, LOVE calving season, even when it results in a lot more laundry, every new baby on the ground is a treasure. Most mornings my wake up call is from Bruce to come help move a calf that was born in the wee hours. Since we always seem to have a new mother and baby in the maternity pen, it mean we have to first shuffle them around to make room.
This little sweetheart had a real bear for a mother, they spent a few days in the north stall of the barn because the weather was cold and rainy. Now wouldn't you think that old Crabby Butt would have enjoyed having such amenities? Fresh bedding, room service delivering food and water so all she had to do was tend to her baby?
Just a peak over the gate brought her snorting and shaking her head, threatening to do bodily harm if we step inside. I held Morris up to see the baby and she really didn't like that. We needed to move them out of the barn to make room for others but he had to be tagged first. The dogs were there with me and Bruce thought we should use one of them for a diversion, Mollie was the one who came in the barn. Guess she was it! She was busy snuffling for rats when Bruce opened the gate, Old Crabby Butt took one look at her and charged. Mollie was oblivious, still looking for rats, I yelled, she looked up and saw 1800# of mad cow bearing down on her, turned left but that faced into the cattle yard with lots of other protective cows watching, did a quick about face, fell down, but jumped back on her feet and shot out of the barn to the west and got in the gator. She was ready to go home.
While all that was going on, Bruce quickly shut himself in with the baby, leaving me out in the barn, holding the tagger. When Old Crabby Butt realized Mollie got away, she ran back to where she had left her baby and found she was shut out. That did not improve her temper one bit and she looked around for someone to take it out on. That was me, YIKES!! Bruce couldn't tag the calf until I gave him the tagger, I couldn't get to the pen because of Old Crabby Butt. I was dancing around, trying to get Bruce the tagger, while staying out of the cow's way and finally just threw it over the fence at him.
Little #78 was then turned out with his mother, who promptly took him outside to meet the other calves, actually she was just wanting to fill her belly with the silage she knew would be waiting. The poor baby was completely discombobulated and befuddled, there were so many cows out there, how would he EVER find his mother again?? He ran all around, zeroing in on me several times, "Are you my mother??" bawling constantly. So Old Crabby Butt was right behind him and not at all happy to see me out there. Finally the pair made their way into the lean-to and the baby could settle down while we went to empty the maternity pen by the road.
You think this little guy has an attitude?? Every time I turned around, he was in my face.
Down by the road is #17 with her baby....
....who we loaded into the tractor crate and moved to the barn and put in the lean-to yard with Old Crabby Butt and her baby, then shut the gate to give the two pairs more time alone before being turned out with the rest of the herd.
Because, back by the road, #79 had a brand new baby in the east yard.....
.....we loaded her up in the tractor crate and moved them both into the maternity pen, a new ear tag later....
...and Bruce gently pushes her out the gate into the private quarters.
Every day we get a calf or two, this morning #5, a second year heifer had a bouncing baby boy. The mother was extremely nervous, running about and mooing, while the baby was very calm. Bruce was on the tractor and I was the calf catcher, I'm not that comfortable when a cow is acting like that but I stood my ground and guided the calf into the crate, hoping I didn't get run over. After they were both in a newly cleaned maternity pen, Bruce told me he was proud of me for my 'extreme bravery' while handling the calf.
I expect a gold star for my sweatshirt.
Just as I finish this, Zoe comes in and hacks up a hairball beside my chair, geezz Louise!!
Now I want two gold stars.